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Where to Get Free or Discounted Technology Hardware
Online testing often requires hardware with certain software and connectivity capabilities. If you aren’t sure where to access a device to use for your exam, many computer assistance programs can provide desktops, laptops and even tablets to families who couldn’t otherwise afford them. In addition to the programs below, there may be a variety of local programs providing resources specifically in your state for you to consider.
If you participate in Comcast’s low-cost internet program, then you are also eligible to buy a computer from their low income computer assistance program. They offer desktops and laptops that must meet minimum specifications (such as a 12″ screen for laptops or a 17″ screen for desktops) for prices as low as $150.
The On It Foundation
Families with income below a certain threshold and a child in grades K-12 can apply for help from The On It Foundation (Opportunities Necessary to Increase Learning). This organization provides computers, training, and Internet to households. In order to be eligible for one of their free computers, you must have a student in grades K-12 in your family, and your child must attend public school in the United States and participate in the Free or Reduced School Lunch Program.
PCs for People
PCs for People is a computer assistance program for those with an income below 200% of the federal poverty level or receive help from an income-based government assistance program (like food stamps or Medicaid). In order to prove your eligibility, you will need to provide photo ID and proof of eligibility within the last six months (unless it’s a tax return, then it has to be within the last year). Proof of eligibility must have a date and the recipient’s name, so an EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card usually won’t work (but a letter about your EBT account should). This organization also offers affordable computer repair and low-cost mobile internet access, in addition to refurbished desktops and laptops!
This organization partners with more than 650 Internet service and device providers to serve under-resourced families across the country. Find low-cost device and internet offers with their locator tool.
Computers With Causes
Families and schools without the funds for technology can receive free computers by applying on the Computers With Causes’ website. Once your application is submitted, they will conduct a thorough needs assessment, as well as a background and reference check, ensuring that computers are sent where they are needed most.
Salvation Army, Goodwill and Other Refurbished Options:
You can often turn to reseller groups such as Goodwill or the Salvation Army to shop discounted, refurbished items. Other large organizations, such as the Alliance for Technology Refurbishing and Reuse, provided a curated list of local service providers across many different states.
Have another resource for discounted technology? Contact us today so we can add it to our list.